Is it stupid to sign up for a race where I might come in last?

Yesterday I didn’t get home from work until 7:45pm and then I had a bunch of chores to do and candle orders to catch up on so I skipped my cross training day. (Cecil did remind me to spend a tiny little bit of time with the roller…)


I’ve noticed that all the little extra rest days I tend to take each week fall on cross training days. It’s so easy to dismiss them as not important, but I know they really are. I absolutely MUST get back to strengthening my core.

Since I skipped last night I’m either going to add on a little bit of core work to each running day this week, or skip a running day and do a full cross training day. Not sure which one yet.

Now that I’m in the lull before marathon training begins (May 1st!!!) I’m looking for some small races to hold myself accountable to training. I was checking out this race called The Double Run which is a 10K + 5K on the same day.

The Double Run

The Double Run

The idea is that you run the 10K and then take a break before running the 5K. The 10K starts at 7:30am and the 5K starts at 9:15am.

I wasn’t sure how long the break is actually supposed to be in between the two since no pacing requirements are listed on the website, so I emailed the race director to find out.Β He replied that “most people will carry a decent pace.”

That’s pretty ambiguous so I asked if a 12:30 min/mile pace would be too slow, and he wrote back that at the last race approx. 30 people finished at a slower pace than that for the two races combined. That’s not very many people.

The idea that I could literally be the last person to cross the finish line is a lot for my fragile ego to handle, so I think I’m going to skip the race this year. Maybe I’ll be braver/faster next year!

So with that being said, I’m still on the hunt for a couple of small races to do in the coming weeks.

Ugh, I really want to run that Double Run….should I just do it? Who cares if I come in last? I mean, somebody has to be last. Why not me? Hmmmm… could be good motivation to actually commit to real speedwork … πŸ™‚

Do you have any race day fears like coming in last or forgetting your body glide?

How do you choose which local/small races to participate in?



  1. March 4, 2014 / 9:13 am

    I agree, who cares what place you come in! When I set my expectation for a race, it helps to manage my ego. I know that the first time I run the half marathon, my goal will be to JUST FINISH. Running, jogging, walking, or crawling, all that matters is finishing. This double run sounds interesting, never doing one before, again my thought process would be, “Run my race, just want to finish.”

    Race day fears – just oversleeping, pretty easy going after that
    Choosing races – honestly, which one gives the best gifts lol

    • March 4, 2014 / 5:02 pm

      Haha yes, good race day swag is a plus when choosing races!

      Great advice, I should just do it and run my own race. I think I’m going to sign up today.

  2. March 4, 2014 / 9:16 am

    Don’t say you “might” be faster next year, you WILL be faster! Keep up the good work and you will get to the pace you want to be at. Just takes time and dedication and you are on the right track!

    I wasn’t too fearful of this last half marathon although I did leave my arm wallet in the car with all my Honey Stingers and was forced to try some Gatorade Endurance chews during the race. They were horrible but I kept a positive outlook on the race and only finished 5 minutes slower than the previous year so its all mental, those fears.

    If you don’t feel ready to do the Double Run this year then skip it till next year but even at a slow pace this year, what’s the worse that could happen? You would have to run the 5k immediately after finishing the 10k? Which would be like a 9 mile race, which is no biggie since you have already done the half marathon distance. I say do what feels right but don’t limit yourself because of your pace.

    • March 4, 2014 / 5:03 pm

      You are so right! I wish you were able to do this race too. Having someone there to remind me on race morning that it doesn’t matter if I come in last would be a morale booster haha

  3. cheryl
    March 4, 2014 / 9:35 am

    I would run it–You know you can do the distance…ANY participant is amazing for his/her accomplishment of getting to the line. Run YOUR race, and be proud!

    How I choose races? I have 3 kids and a husband with very busy schedules. I usually pick 2 races a year that I do that “inconvenience” the family. One is a ragnar, so it involves overnight sitters (Yay for grandparents!), and a VERY tired mom. The other has changed each year. Last year it was a “Mother’s Day 6 hour run”. The other races I do I randomly pick by when there is an opening in the schedule. Of course, a scenic course, and a cool shirt help too. πŸ˜‰

    Race day fear–GI issues during race…ugh

    • March 4, 2014 / 5:05 pm

      Ohh Ragnar! I am really hope to do a Ragnar in the next year πŸ™‚ It looks like so much fun!

      WOW a 6-hour run on mother’s day — that’s awesome!

  4. March 4, 2014 / 11:53 am

    If you want to do the double run- DO IT! And you probably won’t be last, anyway. πŸ™‚ Set 2 other race goals for yourself and if you accomplish them, you win no matter what!

    • March 4, 2014 / 5:07 pm

      Ohh I like that idea of setting two goals. One will be to ensure I at least come in second to last haha. I looked at the race results for the Double Run out in California last month and it looks like the majority of people ran at a 10 min/pace or less. One woman who was like 90 years old ran a pace similar to me… that’s both impressive and depressing! hah

  5. March 4, 2014 / 1:55 pm

    I would totally do it! It sounds like a really unique day of running, that’s for sure! I would highly doubt that you’d come in last, but even if you did, who cares? I think if you set another race day goal that has nothing to do with your overall finish time, then you’ll feel like a winner no matter what happens that day…as you should! πŸ™‚

    • March 4, 2014 / 5:09 pm

      That’s true! Now that I’m thinking about it, really the worst thing that could happen is that I run so slow that I don’t get a break in between the 10K and 5K … which really wouldn’t be so bad. I can definitely handle a 9 miler. Thank you πŸ˜‰

  6. March 4, 2014 / 7:46 pm

    I think you should run it! I sometimes came in last/close to last in high school races and it’s not that big of a deal … you are running at your pace, not someone else’s.

    • March 4, 2014 / 11:34 pm

      So true … to be honest, I think my fear of coming in last probably stems from running the mile in middle/high school and frequently coming in close to last because I walked so much. But those days are in the past!

  7. March 4, 2014 / 10:32 pm

    I came in 7th to last in my first half marathon. True story. I think as long as you know it’ll be fun and you’ll enjoy it, your place doesn’t matter!

    • March 4, 2014 / 11:33 pm

      Whaattt, really? I’m sure once I’m there and running I won’t care any more, but coming in last is something I worry about every race. It’s probably one of those things that is scarier/more embarrassing in thought than in practice — I’m sure crossing the finish line … even if last … will still be a good feeling!

  8. March 5, 2014 / 8:12 pm

    Go for the double! I always have a loose goal but you never know how you might feel that particular day so I don’t beat myself up if I miss it. I just enjoy running and having water and a banana at the end lol I will say my first 15K I started in the very back ( because I was nervous) and we got so spread out I did honestly believe I was the last person and I ran faster the few miles lol